I wanted to share this great story from NPR of a man named Ahmed Jama. He’s a chef who repatriated to his homeland from London despite warnings of violence and suicide bombings. Extremists did try multiple times to attack his restaurants but he remains undeterred. He now operates 3, count’ em 3 restaurants in his native Somalia with another soon to open (there is also a location in London). The restaurants are all titled “The Village” and they serve traditional Somali food.
A meal at The Village starts with a salad of shrimp, mango, lime, onion and strips of chapatti bread. A fillet of kingfish, caught that morning, is grilled over charcoal and enlivened with a light green-chili sauce. A side of rice is garnished with carrots, onion, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, raisins and green pepper.
Everything is local, everything is fresh — because it’s hard to get processed food in Mogadishu. There are also traditional Somali dishes on the menu such as soor, sorghum mash; canjeelo, Somali pancakes; and camel meat.
If you ever find yourself in Mogadishu, be sure to stop by. Have you ever tried Somali food? Do you have any recipes to share?